Arizona Theatre Company Presents XANADU at Herberger Theatre, Now thru 1/19

Arizona Theatre Company brings the tongue-in-cheek, award-winning hit Broadway musical Xanadu to the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., in Tucson from Nov. 30 - Dec. 31 and the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe, in Phoenix from tonight, Dec. 31 - Jan. 19.

Nominated for four Tony Awards, Xanadu is supported by ATC season sponsors I. Michael and Beth Kasser. Opening night in Tucson will be sponsored by Downtown Kitchen + Cocktail.

In this hilarious Broadway musical featuring classic ELO and John Farrar hit songs, the beautiful Greek goddess Clio, disguised as the Australian-accented mortal Kira, is sent by Zeus on a quest from the heavens to inspire the young beach-boy artist Sonny Malone to achieve his roller skate-fueled obsession to open a roller disco. Based on the famous 1980 movie starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, their disco-driven rolling adventure is surrounded by popular hits from the '80s like "Magic," "I'm Alive," "Evil Woman" and, of course, "Xanadu."

Directed by Arizona Theatre Company Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein and featuring real-life husband-wife team Jessica Skerritt as Kira, the magical Greek muse, and Dane Stokinger as Sonny, the Venice Beach street artist, Xanadu has earned consistently rave reviews during its current run in Seattle, where it is a co-production with Village Theatre in Issaquah and Everett. Skerritt and Stokinger are making their ATC debuts.

"The quips are quick, the timing flawless - Goldstein's Xanadu is a well-oiled '80s machine that could not be having any more fun without some sort of illicit drug involved," Jasmine Joshua wrote in Examiner.com. Xanadu is so funny and enjoyable, you would have to be made of stone not to have a great time."

"Xanadu is about roller skates, mirror balls, muses with unpronounceable names, the peculiarities of Southern California beach culture, and just plain fun," ATC's Goldstein said. "But at its heart it is a valentine to the power of love and its ability to inspire invention in our lives. Playwright Douglas Carter Beane and his talented collaborators, who treated Xanadu the movie as their own muse, have creatively transformed cinematic straw into Broadway gold by adding an actual plot, inventing new characters and situations, stirring in a few extra ELO/Olivia Newton-John hits, adding a knowing wink and barrels of humor, while inventing freely around the basic outline of the movie."

In addition to Skerritt and Stokinger, Xanadu features returning ATC favorite Jeff Steitzer as Danny, plus Christine Riippi as Kira's younger sister, Calliope, and Lisa Estridge in the role of Kira's older sister, Melpomene. Ensemble cast members include Michael Feldman, Jessica Low, Taylor Niemeyer and Richard Peacock.

The creative team for Xanadu includes co-director/choreographer Kathryn Van meter, who strapped on a pair of skates in her prep work; musical director Tim Symons, who dusted off his magical keytar; lighting designer Michael Gilliam, who is in Xanadu-driven disco ball heaven; and set designer Bill Forrester, whose two-tiered Greek-inspired set has space for some totally awesome roller disco spins and lifts. Karen Ann Ledger has channeled all the best aspects of '80s fashion into her costume design and sound designer/legend Abe Jacob will make sure the audience can't help but rock out to some rad roller disco tunes.

Tickets for Xanadu start at $32, are subject to change depending on time, date and section, and are available at www.arizonatheatre.org or by calling the box office in Tucson at (520) 622-2823 and in Phoenix at (602) 256-6995. Discounts are available for seniors and active military. A $10 student ticket pricing is now available for all performances. Half-price rush tickets are available for balcony seating for all performances one hour prior to curtain at the ATC box office (subject to availability). In Tucson, Pay What You Can is Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. In Phoenix, Pay What You Can is Sunday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets for this performance are available for a suggested $10 donation and must be purchased at the respective theatres starting one hour prior to curtain. Seating is first-come first served. Cash only. (Two tickets maximum per person.) For discounts for groups of 10 or more, call (602)-256-6995.




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